Ageism in Our Society

Deeply respecting Pope Francis, I was taken aback when a couple of months ago he criticized Europe as “a ‘grandmother,’ no longer fertile and vibrant.” By slipping into this prejudice despite his valiant condemnation of so many others, the pope reminds us just how pervasive biases about aging are. His comment crystallizes issues about ageism in particular and stereotypes in general that are hard to resolve. Why do so many people who would rightly oppose the egregious effects of racism or prejudices about social class unabashedly indulge in ageism?

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